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Mancos trustees OK dog facility, stall on ADUs

Mancos Marshal Jason Spruell, left, swears in the newest member of the force, Estevan Valles, at the town board’s Dec. 14 meeting. The marshal’s department is now fully staffed with four officers.

At their meeting Dec. 14, Mancos trustees approved a special-use permit for Doggie Den Daycare after an hourlong discussion about whether to allow the business.

The business, a dog care service where people could drop of their dogs for the day before heading to work, will be located at 233 Park St., near Boyle Park on the east side of town. Co-owner Semberlyn Crossley said the business is needed in town.

“This community is dog-oriented and could use something like this,” she said.

Mark and Sharon Rosenbaum spoke against allowing the business, saying that noise from barking dogs would be a nuisance. Mark Rosenbaum said the business should be moved out of town.

Four others spoke in favor of allowing the business in town. Gina Roberts, who is a member of the Mancos Planning and Zoning board, said the trustees should give the business a chance.

“We should encourage any and all new business,” she said. “There’s a great need for this.”

Planning and zoning board members unanimously recommended approval for the special use permit at their Nov. 16 meeting.

Town Marshal Jason Spruell said the department rarely gets more than two barking dog complaints per month.

Though they understood concerns about noise, trustees were supportive of the business.

“This could be a real benefit to town,” trustee Lorraine Becker said.

The board approved the special use permit on the conditions that the owners meet all noise and nuisance regulations, and that the permit run concurrent with a permit from the state.

More time needed on ADU ordinance

Also at the meeting, trustees decided they would need more time to revise and polish an ordinance regulating accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Trustees and planning and zoning board members will discuss the ordinance at a joint workshop in February.

There are between 12 and 20 accessory dwelling units in Mancos that need to be recognized and legalized, Mancos Town Administrator Andrea Phillips said. Currently, such structures are in violation of the town’s land-use code.

As presented in the latest version of the ordinance, people building ADUs would not be charged a full tap fee for new water and sewer taps. Instead, they would be charged a $1,750 “plant investment fee” that would cover that expense. The fee is about a third of the cost if people were charged the full tap fee, Phillips said. ADU owners also would be charged about $73 per month to maintain the water and sewer taps at the accessory dwelling.

Mancos resident and ADU owner Celeste Aurorean expressed concern for that extra charge, saying it would be difficult for people in Mancos who had limited incomes.

“The extra $900 per year doesn’t feel ethical to me,” she said.

Roberts and Mark Rosenbaum both spoke in favor of the ordinance. Roberts said it would help keep housing safe for renters, and Rosenbaum said it would help people maximize the value of their properties.

Other board actions

Also at the meeting, trustees approved a resolution setting the water and sewer tap fees for 2017. The current tap fee is $5,248 and the fee will increase by 2.7 percent, to $5,390, to adjust for inflation. Trustees also passed a resolution that will raise town water rates by $2.50 next year. Sewer rates will stay the same.

Also at the meeting, trustees approved an ordinance that would allow the board of trustees to serve as a backup Design Review Board if there are not enough members on that board for a quorum. They also passed a resolution setting the board meeting schedule for 2017. The trustees will meet every second and fourth Wednesday of each month.